Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of AMBERLEY CASTLE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Sussex
Horsham (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


AMBERLEY CHURCH STREET 1. (south side) 5404 Amberley Castle TQ 0213 21/624 15.3.55


2. Mainly C14, altered in the C16 and 1927 but also incorporating regains of an earlier stone manor house of the Bishops of Chichester dating from 1140, 1200 and 1330 in the south-east corner of the castle. In 1377, Bishop William Rede (1368-1385) obtained a licence to crenellate and erected the present building between that date and at least 1382. The building consists of a parallelogram with walls of ashlar 42 ft high, which on the north and west sides stand upon sand rock between 10 and 20 ft high. In the angles of the parallelogram were square towers not projecting, of which only those in the north-west and south-east angles survive, the latter dating more or less entirely from before Bishop Rede's rebuilding. In the centre of the north wall is a small rectangular projection, which was used for garderobes, and to the east of this a large rectangular projection which was the kitchen. In the centre of the south wall are 2 semi-circular towers 58 ft high flanking the gateway with castellated parapets over them. The gateway comprises a four-centred carriage arch with chamfered jambs and a portcullis groove. On the inner side buttresses flank the arch. Above is a room with a castellated parapet over it. Outside the south gate and walls of the Castle is a dry moat which never had a draw-bridge. The south walls have no ws. except loop ws. in the towers flanking the gate. In the north wall are cross-shaped loop ws. and 2 pointed ws. of 2 trefoil-headed lights each; also doorways, fireplaces and in some places remains of the crenellation with a parapet walk behind it. To the south of the projecting kitchen are remains of William Rede's Great Ball with 4 pointed archways. In the north-west corner are the remains of the angle tower of 3 s. The occupied parts of the Castle have been much adapted by Bishop Sherburn in the C16 and at various dates since including the present century. They are partly of stone and partly of timber-framing with some of the surface plastered. Tiled roof. Casement ws. To the east of the gateway is a range of 2 s. and 3 ws. with 2 gables, which is a cottage, and beyond this a modern portion on the possible site of the Chapel. The exterior of the main portion of the house which projects to the north-west from the south-east corner has been modernised in 1927 and has this date on the rwh. The interior of the room known as the Queen's Room contains paintings of Cassandra and Tomyris and other figures, dating from Bishop Sherburn's time, which have been attributed to Lambert Bernardi or Theodore Bernardi of Amsterdam, who came to England in 1519 and is also said to have executed 2 large paintings for Chichester Cathedral. The main staircase dates from the mid C17. The uninhabited portions are scheduled as an Ancient Monument. The last Bishop of Chichester to occupy the building was Bishop Sherburn (1508-1536) who also carried out a good many alterations and adaptations. After Bishop Sherburn's time the Castle was let. In 1643 it was dismantled by General Waller on account of the Royalist sympathies of the then tenant. Articles by W D Peckham in the Sussex Archaeological Society's Collections, Vol 62, pages 29-63 and Vol 69, page 226 and by G A Clarkson in Vol 11, pages 185-239.

Listing NGR: TQ0273713190


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Clarkson, G A,
Peckham, W D,
Peckham, W D,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 03 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/15589/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Derek Grieve. Source Historic England Archive
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